Where did Seb get it all wrong?

18-09-2018 08:17
by Matt Gretton
Column
Where did Seb get it all wrong?

Sebastian Vettel's title fight against Lewis Hamilton is dying out. The flame is flickering in the strong breeze as the German dips to a 40 point deficit with just six races left.

If Hamilton finishes on the podium after every race between now and Abu Dhabi, Vettel will have to win all six in order to beat the Brit. Now that's a serious challenge.

Casting your minds back to Silverstone two months ago. It was clear Ferrari had the upper hand. It was perhaps his best chance to win his fifth World Championship, but where did it all go wrong?

Weather

Vettel isn't good enough in the rain. This isn't a new thing, The Hockenheim Grand Prix mistake was almost a carbon copy of the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix when Jenson Button was chasing on a damp track. In both occasions, Vettel was leading and ran wide. A week later in Hungary, a wet qualifying session gave Hamilton track advantage in Sunday's race. Yes, the Ferrari car probably isn't as good in the rain, but he should have done better.

Pressure

Vettel cracks under pressure. And this season has brought extra pressure for him to deal with. The 31-year-old has made plenty of mistakes when it really matters. In Baku, he messed up an overtake after the safety car, the France crash with Bottas, Austria qualifying penalty, Germany crash and Monza spin. Without a doubt, removing just half of these mistakes would have made the championship tighter. Vettel is one of the best drivers, but when the pressure is on, he makes too many mistakes.

Taking his chances

Nico Rosberg, the master of fighting Hamilton, for World championships has told Vettel all year how to beat Hamilton. Rosberg suggested he must make the most of his chances when The Brit was down. The Mercedes driver was struggling in the first part of the season, but opportunities for Vettel passed by in China, Azerbaijan and Monaco. He must take his chances.

When Hamilton isn't winning, he's finishing on the podium more often than not. But Vettel has missed out on the podium six times this year, double Hamilton's tally. Vettel has to stop the pouring when it rains.

Can Vettel still win it? Of course, he can. But he needs some luck, a couple of Hamilton retirements, dry conditions and better handling of pressure.Sebastian Vettel's title fight against Lewis Hamilton is dying out. The flame is flickering in the strong breeze as the German dips to a 40 point deficit with just six races left.

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